I don’t know why I decided to make a Shepherd’s Pie, maybe because it has a good name. It originally was called Cottage Pie referring to a rural dwelling. And lamb is traditionally used because shepherds herd sheep not cows or chickens. Whatever, once I made that decision I had to locate a recipe. I tried some of my own cookbooks but Martha was putting a rutabaga mash on top of hers and Jamie Oliver and Julia didn’t even list it in their books. So next up, the internet. Of course there are a bazillion recipes to choose from so I went to a few of my standby sites and settled on Epicurious because 1) traditional mashed potatoes on top and 2) ground lamb, which I already had in the freezer (some recipes called for ground beef). Being super easy was a third benefit. Frankly, most Shepherd’s Pie recipes are pretty easy.
The Sheep Herder’s Dinner
1 Tbls vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
1 pound ground lamb
1 cup beef broth (or chicken)
1 Tbls tomato paste
1 tsp rosemary
1 Tbls chopped Italian parsley
1 cup frozen peas
2 lbs russet potatoes (peeled and cut into chunks)
6 Tbls unsalted butter
1/2 cup milk (any fat content)
salt to taste
Preheat oven to 375.
1. Bring the potatoes to a boil in salted water. Cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain.
2. While potatoes are cooking, heat the oil in a large saute pan, then add the onion, carrot and meat. Cook until browned, about 8 – 10 minutes.
3. Drain the fat and add the broth, the tomato paste and the herbs. Simmer until the juices thicken, about 10 minutes, then add the peas.
4. Pour the mixture into a 1 1/2 quart baking dish. Set aside.
5. Mash the cooked potatoes with butter, milk and salt. Spread them over the meat mixture, then rake a fork over the top so it looks like a plowed field.
6. Bake until golden, 30 -35 minutes. Need it to be more golden? Put it under the broiler for a minute or two, keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn.
And that’s Shepherd’s Pie. Pretty easy and pretty tasty.
This recipe serves 6 statistically average people or 3.14 hungry shepherds so the two of us have a lot leftover. I’m guessing it will reheat well but it won’t look as pretty since it has to be repackaged to go in the freezer. But I was cook tonight so Curt is in charge of cleanup. I’m sure he will think of something.
Hope you had a Happy Pi Day. Did you make pie?